For as long as I can remember, I’ve loved Diwali. I love the sparkling lights, the candles, the divas, the traditions, and my parent’s excitement. One of the biggest reasons I love Diwali so much is because of my dad’s love for it. I love how he spends his whole day preparing the same goat curry he makes every year and walks around the house turning on all the lights and lighting divas. Sometimes he even busts out his kurtha chadra (disclaimer: that man is not my father) and gives us a glimpse of his youth. Fun fact: my dad wore pants for the first time on his wedding day.
Last year was my first time celebrating Diwali away from home and I have to admit, it made me really homesick. But, as usual, Gagan didn’t let that last long.
We went to Beaverton to find an Indian grocery store so we could attempt our favourite Indian dish, mattar paneer. Gagan pretty much bought everything in the store and I managed to find some divas. Our mattar paneer turned out delicious and we had a fun evening lighting divas and hanging lights.
This year was a little quieter because Gagan worked right into the evening. Since my parents have always stressed having a clean house for Diwali, I spent a couple hours cleaning the apartment before searching for divas and Christmas lights. The divas were an easy find since they’ve been sitting on our windowsill for the last year but the Christmas lights weren’t so easy to find. I looked in the hall closet but couldn’t find them anywhere — okay, I didn’t try that hard but it’s impossible to find things in this closet!
You know the closet I’m talking about.
The closet where everything that doesn’t have a home ends up.
The closet that houses all the things you should probably just get rid of.
The closet you have to open slowly because it’s full to the brim and you don’t know what might fall on you.
The closet that even neat-freak Monica Geller hid behind a locked door.
The closet defeated me and I gave up on the lights. Instead, I lit up all the candles I could find before trying and mostly failing to get a picture of the dogs with the divas. Zeke was too interested in my camera for me to get a picture of him but luckily, Gabbar couldn’t be bothered to move so I managed to get some pictures of him.
Our original plan was to make mattar paneer again but since Gagan came home so late and we still needed to buy groceries, we decided to pick it up from a restaurant. Big mistake. I grew up in a household of extremely spicy food and think I’m pretty good at handling my spice but this was making my insides burn with every bite. I gave up on the food and Gagan ended up running downstairs for some ice cream — what’s Diwali without sweets, right? — and we put on a Bollywood flick that I quickly fell asleep to.
The fun didn’t end there.
I woke up in the middle of the night with extreme stomach cramps. I also spent the last few days watching The Haunting of Hill House – does anybody else feel like this show is like a creepy version of This is Us? – and imagined all kinds of creepy ghosts lurking in the darkness while hot lava spewed out of me.
All in all, the makings of a perfectly imperfect Aulakh Diwali.